Archive for November 2009

Seniors: Preparations for Prevention

Nov 17th, 2009 | By Dr Jerry D Elrod | Category: Senior Moments Blog

Prevention is anticipatory. It is expecting that time will come and need will arise when some preparations will have been necessary and critical in heading off disease, accidents, and other interferences with our life’s flow.

Medicine cabinets are often filled with preparations for prevention. All kinds of potions and pills fill our shelves to head off all kinds of interruptions in our lives. You feel a headache coming on, you pop a pill; a sniffle prompts some kind of cold rememdy; a pain in one muscle or another requires another pill; a small cut requires a bandaid and an antibiotic. And so it goes.



Seniors: Life’s Most Important Components

Nov 16th, 2009 | By Dr Jerry D Elrod | Category: Senior Moments Blog

When you consider what makes up who you are, what are those components that seem to be the pieces that have fit together to make you you? Coming to an appreciation of what pieces hold you together can say a great deal about who you are, how you are perceived and what you understand to be the qualities in who you are.

Make a list of the several things that amount to be the most important in your life. If you start out with tangible items, you may be in for a surprise. If you are able to identify the intangible as most important, your life will likely have a more well rounded and well balanced composition.



Seniors: Hogwash, There is No Such Thing as Bad Luck

Nov 13th, 2009 | By Dr Jerry D Elrod | Category: Senior Moments Blog

Friday the 13th and everyone, either jokingly, or quite seriously is hyped up about the tried and tired superstitions. Some take it quite seriously. Others ignore them altogether. The latter is the behavior of choice. The former is, quite simply, “hogwash.”

Like a lot of traditions in our culture, bad luck is perceived to be a real and ever threatening phenomenon. It creeps up on us when we least expect it and exacts its punishment in unpredictable and very unpleasant ways. It may come at the roulette table at the Casino (but what are you doing there anyway, the odds of bad



Seniors: Preparing for the Holidays

Nov 12th, 2009 | By Dr Jerry D Elrod | Category: Senior Moments Blog

Black Friday Specials are already being promoted. Notwithstanding the expected slower shopping season, the promotions are descending on us. Preparations this year may take on different dimensions than in years past. Less being spent, less hype, less temptation , more reluctance and reticence, shopping may just be less appealing for most of us. Unemployed families, those with fears of losing their jobs, those who have adopted more prudent behaviors are more likely to drive what is not happening this season.

And, you know what? That’s just fine. Our need to shop needs to be motivated by our circumstances and good judgment and anticipation of tomorrow more than quick sentiment, influences of advertising, and guilt. Preparing for the holidays this year may be expunging the old habits of doing it just because everybody else does. This may be the year that we teach by example that belt tightening is really an important response.



Seniors: Our Tribute to Veterans

Nov 11th, 2009 | By Dr Jerry D Elrod | Category: Senior Moments Blog

There are a lot of sentimental gestures that are paid to Veterans on this and Memorial Day. They are fitting and often understated. Those of us born during or before the Second World War have long since become accustomed to the celebrations and tributes paid to Veterans. I am old enough to remember occasions when there were First World War veterans still participating in the holiday occasions. In the South, back in the 40′s there were even a few Confederate or widows of Confederate soldiers yet around.

With war raging in our world so persistently, it appears we will never lack for those to whom tribute can be paid. Sad. Sad that we still are lining up our troops to take on military adventures, and sometimes what seems like misadventures, in sacrifice of their lives, time with their families and threat of danger even here at



Seniors: Just How Sharp Are You?

Nov 10th, 2009 | By Dr Jerry D Elrod | Category: Senior Moments Blog

Names won’t stick…telephone numbers hard to recall…books read and movies seen can’t be remembered…locations forgotten…what do these trends tell us? Sometimes they tell us nothing at all, except aging introduces enough information that some of it slips. Sometimes, it just means that familiarity with some names, places and entertainment are not high on our memory list. If the condition seems chronic, i.e. forgetfulness seems to prevail with more and more encounters and experiences, then there may be reason for concern. There are lots of humorous accounts about memory loss, but those are to help us to focus on whether and how serious our recall issues really are.

Exercises which assist memory retention are healthy methods for assisting our memory functioning better. Playing games, such as Scrabble, certain other word and table games, Sudoku may



Seniors: Avoiding Blue Mondays

Nov 9th, 2009 | By Dr Jerry D Elrod | Category: Senior Moments Blog

One of the first things to consider doing the first of every month is to mark on your calendar what you plan to do on each Monday. Before the first Monday falls, having a lay out of ways to spend your day will likely assure avoiding down days.

I didn’t do it for this month and the result is this Monday is a bummer. Look at the end of the week too, Friday is the 13th. People who are affected by superstitions may be in for a heap of detours this week.

Two possibilities may apply. Ignore Friday’s date. Act as if you already had a good plan for today, Monday.



A New Feature for Senior Citizens: SCJ Video

Nov 6th, 2009 | By Dr Jerry D Elrod | Category: Senior Moments Blog

Senior Citizen Journal is adding a new feature this week. We had the privilege of interviewing a national Hospice expert, Patricia M Olsen, RN, BSN, MPH, from Iowa. She began to shed some light on the issues facing seniors, including hospice care (end of life choices) and how those issues interface with the national health insurance issues we all are concerned about.

One of the concerns that has arisen from health care reform coming from the national scene is what happens to our elderly seniors facing imminent end of life, or approaching that scenario. Patricia Olsen objectively addresses those issues, and makes it clear that the path began in 1983, not in 2009. She identifies the mandate: end of life choices remain with the individual experiencing those choices. That was true in 1983



Seniors: Productive Aging and Unproductive Behaviors

Nov 5th, 2009 | By Dr Jerry D Elrod | Category: Senior Moments Blog

I guess its because I have so much interface with older persons that the contrasts jump out at me as they do. This is one: productive aging and unproductive behaviors. For the most part, most of the time, in most settings the former is the acted out version of the people who are growing older that I experience. That’s good news. I am just fortunate enough to traffic with folk who want the best from life and whose choices come down on the side of kindness, thoughtfulness, consideration and grace that I expect most people are that way. Doesn’t turn out always that that is the case. But one can only hope that it springs eternal.

The kinds of folk I know are full of humor, comfortable with smiling, generally interested in others, not focused on themselves and their own issues, happy to be, pleased to be breathing, and genuine in their friendship. Folks like that have come to an appreciation and acting out of productive aging. Those who can’t do these things to call upon these behaviors may have come to that time when it is just beyond their capability, not because they are old grunts, but because they are faced with more hurdles than we can imagine.



Seniors: Keep Your Head While Others Are Losing Theirs

Nov 4th, 2009 | By Dr Jerry D Elrod | Category: Senior Moments Blog

It isn’t too much of a undertaking today to look around at the number of people who are choosing to lose their heads. Some for good reason. Others, because they never learned the art of adaptation. The world was not, in spite of the fallacies of some who attest otherwise, created for our pure, sheer,and exclusive enjoyment. Times come and times go. Some of them, as Dickens proclaimed, are “the best of times” while others are “the worst of times.”

Those passages, that Gail Sheehy made famous, catch all of us up in their webs. Whatever occurs in the historical mix of our lives inevitably includes us, sometimes shapes us, often redirects us, frequently disappoints and aggravates us. The control we are in a position to exercise over the time warp we are in is limited to none. Flexing our individual intellectual and physical muscle to alter its course will end in